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Wiksten Shift Dress in Sunset Cotton Crepe by Alexis

Hi!

I am so excited to be on the Lamazi Blog for the first time! Joining Lamazi Blog Team has been a highlight of my sewing career. Lamazi carries many of my favorite fabric companies including Meet Milk, Mind the Maker, Atelier Brunette and Art Gallery Fabrics just to name a few.  If you live in the US like me you will be pleased to hear they offer free shipping on purchases over 95 British Pounds.

*Before I proceed, I want to mention I had HUGE plans to take these photos outside but with everything going on in the world I decided to bring the outside in and still wear my hat and full look!!

For this first project I choose to sew with Atelier Brunette Sunset Chestnut Cotton Crepe fabric. Let me pause here before I jump into more about the fabric. About a year ago I went to the doctor to have what we thought was a cyst removed from very close to my eye. When I went in for the follow up I was told it was not a cyst but Basal Squamous Carcinoma.  I was in shock! Skin cancer?!! After a few weeks of meetings with other doctors and then a follow up surgical procedure to remove the cancer, I was told over and over to make sure I wear lots and lots of sunscreen and to find clothes that cover my skin, even in Summer. All I kept thinking is I can’t cover my whole body, I will sweat to death. So, when the Crepe fabric arrived a few weeks ago, my brain was like YES!! This is the fabric that I could cover my whole body with in the summer but still let it breath.

The Crepe is 100% cotton, very lightweight and sheer. So, it will need a lining or wear a slip like I did.  It only weights about 62 grams. It really is the perfect Summer fabric, right down to the cute iridescent sunset accent scattered throughout the fabric.

I choose to pair the fabric with the Wiksten Shift Dress.

The Shift dress has a lot of ease and makes for a great Summer staple. I have made it once before with a linen so I already knew how it would fit me overall. I do want to mention one thing that caught me after I made this one. Next time I would do a forward shoulder modification because the dress tends to pull back, possibly because the fabric is so lightweight.

Don’t freak out when I tell you, but I choose not to wash the fabric prior to cutting out the pattern.  The main reason was I did not want to take the stiffness out of the fabric, as I felt this would help in cutting and sewing.   As I mentioned above the Shift dress has a generous amount of ease so I was comfortable knowing that even though it will shrink in the wash for the first time It was not going to be too small.

Do not be too nervous sewing with a lightweight fabric, I actually found it be pretty easy to work with. Here are a few tips that helped me while sewing

  1. Sew slowly, this is not a fabric to sew like a speed demon. It’s ok to sew slow!
  2. Use a walking foot, I did try sewing with a regular foot but noticed puckering so I switched back to my walking foot.
  3. Lengthen the stitch length 2.5-3 mm, Try lengthening the stitch length first but if that is not enough loosen the tension as well.
  4. Interfacing, I add Pellon lightweight interfacing to the belt, pockets and the neckline facings.
  5. Stay stitch where possible, I did around the neckline before sewing on the facing.
  6. Use a new and sharp needle. I used a size 70/10.
  7. More pins the better to hold the fabric in place to prevent shifting. Make sure they are super fine pins.
  8. I have seen people recommend using tissue paper while cutting the fabric. I did not do this, but I could totally see it being very helpful if I had washed my fabric prior.

    Finally, I want to finish up this blog post with the modifications I did to the Shift Dress:

    1. Hemmed the dress with a 2 ½” seam allowance instead of 2 ¼”.
    2. I raised the slit up 3”. Wahoo, more leg!
    3. Shorten the length of the pattern by 2”.
    4. Hemmed the sleeves with a ½” seam allowance instead of the 3/8” SA. The next time I make the Shift dress I plan to grade the top edge of the sleeve in about 3/4”. This will give it more of a cap sleeve feel.

    I truly feel so honored you stopped by to read my blog post today! I hope I have helped to inspire you and to share what I have learned from sewing with those, sometimes scary, lightweight fabrics.

    Until next time!!

    -Alexis

     

     


    1 comment

    • Thanks for all the great information!!
      Your work is inspiring .
      Hilda

      Hilda Le Denmat

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